Some of the wisest words I have heard in relation to a dress code are “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”.
At face value this would seem to say, if you want to be a high-level executive at some point then dress in a suit, or if you want to be an astronaut someday, dress in your space suit. But this calls us to take some time to look past the surface. Think about how your daily attire reflects on how you do your job, and what is perceived by others. When I think about this saying it means that if one day I want to be in a role of leadership – I’m going to dress like it.
We all have casual days. Days we would rather not get out of bed, and don’t want to put on anything other than our comfiest pants, and baggiest sweatshirt. But on those days, look in the mirror and remind yourself that “to look good is to feel good”. Put a little more effort into your wardrobe and your appearance, your coworkers will notice (although they may not say anything) not only are you showing them respect, but you are raising the bar for them as well. By putting on a clean, crisp set of clothes, and showing up like you want to be there, even if you may not want to be that day, fake it until you make it, and never underestimate the power of the look good, feel good mentality.
When you’re starting a new job, or thinking about trying to step it up in your current role, how do you know what is appropriate to wear? There are so many “how to” articles out there with even more people telling you to “do this, or, do that”… so, what direction should you go in?
Always take the lead from the smartest dressed person in the office, not sure who that is? Look around you. Who do you always notice when they walk in to a room? Who stands out in large group meetings due to their professional dress (even when they are wearing jeans), take a page out of their book, or watch a few episodes of Queer Eye on Netflix, perfect the ‘French tuck’ and step up your game!
Gentleman, when wearing jeans, throw on a blazer over your dress shirt. Ditch the gym sneakers for some dressier shoes, (they don’t have to be super fancy), just a step up from the sneakers you’re wearing on the weekends.
Ladies, adding a blazer also works for you! Blazers have the added benefit of dressing up almost any outfit. Swap your leggings for some slim cut dress pants, and trade in your flip flops for some basic flats.
There are so many ways to be creative when you’re getting dressed for your day ahead. Remember that your appearance and your style is a direct reflection of who you are, you also want to be respectful to your company and your colleagues in the workplace. And always remember, dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.